In the name of my personal Saviour Jesus Christ, I, on behalf of my family and the Federal Government of Nagaland, convey our warm greetings and wishes to you as you prepare to celebrate the day that marks the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Indeed, it is the most blessed of all seasons-a season marked with joyous merry-making and cheerful greetings; a season of laughter and gifts; a season of melodious Christmas carols and songs; a season of decorations and lightings but above all, it is the season of ‘Love’. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”- John 3:16. So what prompted God to part with his one and only Son? We find the answer in the book of Genesis. God created man in his own image. He created both male and female and made them masters over all his creations. He blessed them and gave them the freedom to be fruitful. But he also gave them a stark warning, “…but you must not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil , for when you eat of it you will surely die.” – Genesis 2:17 and for a short time everything was perfect just as God had intended. But Sin would soon raise its ugly head. This came in the form of the serpent deceiving both Eve and Adam into eating the ‘Forbidden’ fruit .This was the first act of disobedience or sin in the recorded history of mankind. From the moment they tasted the fruit, they became sinners and the world became a sinful world.
“Cursed is the ground because of you, …It will produce thorns and thistles for you…and to dust you will return.” –Genesis 3: 17-19. Thus the world became cursed filled with hardships and pain, hatred and all sorts of sins and eventual death. So to save and redeem us from our worldly sins, he sent his only Son to die on the cross and atone for all our sins that we may believe in him and have everlasting life in his presence. This promise was fulfilled more than 2000 years ago when, on a calm , silent night, an angel appeared to a group of shepherds who were tending to their flocks in the field and proclaimed ” …I bring good news of great joy. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” – Luke 2:10-11.
Friends as we celebrate Christmas this year, let us do so with Christ in our hearts. Let us proclaim and share the glad tidings to all the ends of the world. Forgive each other and be compassionate towards others. Spend time with your families in prayer and cheerful giving. I understand that many are heavy-laden; some are on their sick beds; some are in pain over the loss of loved ones; some are in prisons and yet some with other problems- it is my wish and prayer that you will find peace and solace, health and strength, love and joy through our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas!
May God bless you!
Gen. (Retd.) Viyalie Metha,
Federal Government of Nagaland.